The season started way back on 15th April as the 1st XI picked up a friendly victory at South Woodford thanks to excellent knocks from Alex Kirkpatrick, on debut, and Nicky Ison. (Photos) The following day saw a defeat for the Sunday 2nd XI at Harlow Town despite an excellent innings from Adam Quested who made 96.
The following Saturday, the 1st XI overcame the excesses of the previous night’s Pre Season Dinner to overcome Epsom by 15 runs, Alan Ison leading the way with a wonderful 101. Sunday and it was Julian Whetstone bringing up his first century of the season, as his 118 not out meant the first competitive fixture of the season ended with an Upminster win as North Middlesex were dispatched by seven wickets in the National Cup. Meanwhile the Sunday 2s picked up their first win of the season, against Theydon Bois, with half centuries for Nicky Ison and Adam Quested leading them to a 73 run win.
The pace of the action picked up further the following weekend (29th and 30th April) and the 1st XI produced one of their best performances for years to overcome Brentwood in the League Cup at Upminster Park. Shahbaz and Alan Ison led the way with the bat to help the home side post 256-5 before Matt Tigg tore through the visitor’s top order. James Redwood, Max Osborne and Charlie Griffiths fought back for Brentwood but Nicky Ison held his nerve in the final overs as Upminster won by nine runs. The 2nd XI started their campaign with a thrilling one run win over Brentwood in a friendly, Billy Wright with three wickets, while the 3rd XI lost their opening friendly at Wanstead, by seven runs, despite a half century from Rob Waghorn.
The Sunday League side started in fine form dispatching Gidea Park and Romford by eight wickets, Louis Pickering with three wickets and Paul Middlemiss with an unbeaten 58, while the 2nd XI were well beaten by Potter Street & Church Langley despite an excellent innings from Andrew Berry.
Louis Pickering and Shahbaz were in the runs at Old Brentwoods as the 1st XI eased through to the next round of the League Cup on the 6th May. Matt Tigg and Julian Whetstone picked up three wickets apiece in an 81 run success. Back at Upminster Park, Farid and Alfie James piled up the runs for the home side in their friendly fixture against the same opponents, before Jack O’Dowd spun his side to an early finish with four wickets. 63 from Paul Middlemiss and three wickets from Tom Daniels helped the 3rd XI brush aside Oakfield Parkonians, while young and old combined for the 4th XI as they thrashed Gidea Park and Romford. Michael Larke and Josh Lamont were in the runs while Kevin Roome and Ollie Woods did the damage with the ball.
63 from Jordan Tigg was not enough for the Sunday League side the next day as they contrived to lose by eight runs to STMCC, and there was also defeat for the Sunday 2nd XI, at Oakfield Parkonians, despite 83 from Scott Fisher.
SNEL action finally got underway on 13th May, but it was a poor start for the 1st XI as they were thrashed at Chingford, 33 from Shabaz not enough to stop them being bowled out for 110. Brother Farid was in fine form at Upminster Park as his 110 helped Upminster to reach 243-9 against Shenfield, but the visitors stood firm to secure the draw, finishing on 159-7. A fine all round performance helped the 3rd XI to an opening day win at Hutton, while Ant Lim (59) and Karim Govani (five wickets) helped the 4th XI to see off Orsett and Thurrock. Captain Scott Fisher starred with bat and ball as the 5th XI beat Loughton, but the 6th XI fell to defeat against Walthamstow despite the efforts of George Sadek (52).
Sunday saw the 1st XI exit the National Cup at Wanstead despite a gutsy performance, particularly from Shaffiq and Alan Ison, while a weakened Sunday League side were defeated by Goresbrook, despite a wonderful unbeaten 81 from Kiran Kullar.
Week 2 of the league season did not see any improvement for the 1st XI as they were heavily beaten by an Ahmed Zaidi inspired Ilford at Valentines Park, while at Upminster Park the wet weather meant an abandonment for the 2nd XI in their game with Brentwood. Rain also played a part at Coopers as the 3rd XI drew with Wanstead, four wickets for Mark Schofield, while Rob Bannister starred with bat and ball as the 4th XI made it two from two with a four wicket win at Gidea Park. The 5th XI game at Ilford was another victim of the weather, while Ian Twine and Ryan Brown helped the 6th XI to a draw in their local derby with Hornchurch 5s. Brown’s performance was the highlight of the day though, as his performance included his first ever hat-trick!!!
Sunday saw the first T20 action of the season with a double header at Upminster Park. Chingford were dispatched with ease by the home side, but Wanstead proved just to strong and edged to a five wicket win in game two.
The third week of SNEL action saw the 1st Team pick up their first league win with another stunning performance against Brentwood. John Curtis took four wickets to help restrict Brentwood to 232-8 before Shahbaz and Julian Whetstone piled up a huge opening partnership in reply. When Whetstone fell for 84 Shabaz continued to reach a brilliant century and was joined by Shaffiq who made an unbeaten 40 as Upminster won by nine wickets. The 2nd XI also got off the mark as 78 from Farid helped them to a nine wicket win at Buckhurst Hill, while the 3rd XI ended the month in second place after success at Woodford Wells. Mark D’Cruz struck seven times to help restrict Wells before unbeaten half centuries from Elliot Bussey and Adam Quested saw Upminster home without any alarms. It was a wonderful afternoon for Alex Halliwell as he made his maiden century (109) as the 4th XI had the better of a draw with Hornchurch, while the 5th XI fell to a slender six run defeat against Shenfield despite four wickets for Michael Jones. The 6th XI ended the month with their second successive draw, mainly thanks to the bowling of Brian Martin and the batting of Max Gordon.
Sunday saw the 2nd XI friendly with Rainham washed out at the halfway stage, while Bank Holiday Monday saw the Windmill Whack swing back into action. In Game 1 holders and favourites the Chairman’s Choice comfortably saw off the Apple Finance Firebirds, but Game 2 was a lot tighter affair as the Root 66ers needed “overseas” star Andrew Kennedy to see them to a five wicket win, with just one ball to spare, in their game against the Kalijeera Kings.
TEAM PERFORMANCE OF THE MONTH – 1st XI v Brentwood, SNEL – A great all round performance secured a nine wicket win.
INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE MONTH – Ryan Brown, 6th XI v Hornchurch 5th XI, SNEL – A first ever hat-trick for the young seam bowler.
Updated 17:56 - 3 Oct 2017 by Kevin Roome